Build a growth marketing team

1. Evaluate your existing product, growth stage, and audience insights to confirm that you are ready to hire a growth marketing team.

A growth marketing team can only be successful if the environment is right. You need: A product: an MVP and product or market fit. Growth stage. Growth marketing teams are most common at startups. Use variables like annual revenue, investment stage, current growth trajectory or projections, and primary growth objectives to evaluate the need for and scope of your team. Audience insights: existing research and buyer personas to draw on. For example, hiring a growth marketing team makes sense for startups who have secured investments, have an MVP, and have a good understanding of their audience. It is less beneficial for startups who are still establishing a product-market fit, haven’t yet built up the revenue to support paid campaigns, and haven’t yet defined audience personas.

2. Interview your sales, customer success, and product marketing teams about potential growth opportunities to establish the scope and goals for your growth marketing team.

Direct customer contact may cause these teams to learn about or suspect potential needs and untapped opportunities in generating leads, acquiring new customers, or driving increased product adoption. What you learn from them can help you define the areas of focus and goals for your growth marketing team. For example, you may learn that you need a more streamlined website to improve your lead generation efforts. Or, adoption may lag because of a lack of educational use cases for your product. Talking to your customer facing teams helps you identify latent opportunities that you can then use to shape your growth marketing team.

3. Hire a team lead to manage your growth goals, lead the hiring process, monitor growth progress, communicate progress with stakeholders, and remove potential growth obstacles.

Look for candidates who have: Experience in managing growth efforts. Cross functional experience in marketing, product engineering, and analytics. An experimentation oriented mindset that can test and iterate quickly. A strong background of making data-oriented decisions to build marketing plans.

4. Hire a growth engineer to implement strategies planned by the team lead, and work on the tactical details and implementation required to achieve growth goals.

That includes: Choosing the right channels. Implementing strategies and experiments. Measuring the success of individual channels. Integrating different efforts into a larger whole. Growth engineers should have experience in all major digital marketing efforts including content marketing, SEO, SEM, email, and paid and organic social media. They’re pragmatic and experimentation oriented, willing to trust test data over general best practices or conventional wisdom. For example, traditional best practices may recommend paid social as a primary lead generation tactic. The right growth engineer should be able to build lead gen tests with and without paid social, building a marketing strategy based on test results first.

5. Identify both current and optimal ownership of website development and management.

Understanding who is accountable for developing and managing the website will help to determine if you need to hire a full-stack developer, UX designer, and/or website manager. For example, if your website is built by an external agency partner, you will only need a website manager. Your website backend also determines what position will help your growth marketing teams. A CMS like WordPress may only require a marketing manager. An integrated platform like HubSpot can benefit from a full-stack developer, allowing your team to implement new integrations and optimizations quickly.

6. Hire a website lead for your growth marketing team, or pull your current website administrator into your team if possible.

The web lead will optimize how leads engage with the website and discover products and services on your biggest owned channel. If a single person in your organization currently manages the website, see if they can report to the growth marketing team lead. If you have a full digital team, ensure representation on your growth team by having at least one cross-report to your lead. You might need to hire to expand your web team beyond the lead. For example, full-stack developers may be needed if your website needs to be built from scratch, but they will need the help of a UX designer to optimize the site. You can hire or outsource some of your web roles short-term, but the website lead should be a permanent role on your growth marketing team.

7. Identify content marketing partnership opportunities with your existing marketing team, or hire a dedicated content marketer for your growth marketing team.

If a content marketer or content marketing team already exists, identify how your growth team will collaborate. For example, partner with your content marketing team on gated content and other lead generation opportunities focused on business growth. If neither team exists, hire a dedicated content marketer for your growth team. This role should be able to: Write strong digital content, from blog posts to long-form whitepapers and social media copy. Measure content success as it relates to your growth marketing goals. Collaborate with both your growth team and the larger business on content or topic opportunities. Unless you have a dedicated graphic designer on staff, create simple graphics for new and repurposed content.

8. Hire or assign a performance or lifecycle marketing role to your team to assist in nurturing leads, optimizing marketing collateral, and driving growth through various marketing efforts.

Choose between one of two emphases, or choose both depending on your business goals and the budget for filling out your team: Performance marketing, focused on paid digital tactics. Lifecycle marketing, focused primarily on retention strategies like email. As with other members of your team, this role should be familiar with designing experiments using an A/B testing framework. They should also have significant experience in the channels your team lead and growth engineer have identified as your areas of focus. In small growth marketing teams, the team lead and growth engineer often share this role.

9. Hire a dedicated marketing analyst, or tap into your company’s existing analytics team.

Depending on the size and stage of your business, there may already be a team responsible for company performance and marketing attribution. If so, establish a close partnership with them to ensure all of your goals, efforts, and progress are being tracked. Marketing analysts should have the following skills: Proven expertise in tracking and benchmarking KPIs. Experience in Google Analytics and similar analysis tools. Ability to create visual, intuitive reports for stakeholders. Your entire growth marketing team should have at least a cursory analytics background. If everyone is comfortable jumping into analytics platforms to attribute their efforts to outcomes, you can build a more dynamic strategy and implementation.